Only lag can defeat me.

    Only lag can defeat me.

    Some interesting debate in our Diablo 3 community forum about what happened in the Reaper of Souls story and where the game lore will go next. It was spurred by some official story comments from Leonard Boyarsky. Let’s hear them and then speculate: Diablo 3’s Future Plot: Why is Diablo Free?

    When diablo was released was it just Diablo or the seven evils?
    Leonard Boyarsky: I think we can answer that. Yes if Diablo was truly released after the destruction of the black soul stone it would be diablo as the combination of the seven evils.

    Brian Kindregan: Yes.. yes. It would be Diablo as the prime evil.

    Leonard Boyarsky: Yeah that’s not the question I thought they were going to ask to clarify at the end. That’s the easy one haha. Let’s end any more talk about the seven evils all escaping. It did not happen. Diablo is the one free. There is no seven evil business. They’re gone.

    I honestly didn’t remember what happened in the end of Reaper of Souls, so I went and looked up a video of the final battle and cinematic. There’s nothing about the plot in the cinematic, unless you want to take it as a PvP via game story preview. Tyrael yammers on about how powerful is the Nephalem and how amazing, but how he/she has a mortal heart and thus one day will be tempted by corruption and may resist, or may give in and destroy everything. The final cinematic begins at 2:08 of this compilation:

    It’s before then, when you defeat Malty and talk to Tyrael, that the plot stuff referenced by the big LeBo occurs. I typed a quick transcript:

    Tyrael: Where is the black soulstone?
    Character: Malthael destroyed it and consumed Diablo’s soul.
    Tyrael: Then Malthael’s death will have released Diablo. He is free.

    Maybe it’s just me, but this makes no sense on two levels.

    First of all, how was Diablo’s soul even available to Malty? As best I recall, all of the lesser evils were in the black Soulstone, but only because Leah (coached by Adria) used her magic to imprison them there. Diablo wasn’t in the black soulstone with the others, and when he took over Leah (creating Sheablo) D was in charge, with the others fueling his power through the black soulstone, much like an upgraded version of Diablo 2, where Diablo and Baal used their own formerly imprisoning soulstones to boost their power.

    That transformation made Diablo powerful enough to romp into Heaven and take out the angels (and who didn’t secretly root for him, against those whiny, lecturing, echoy-voiced birdmen?) but he wasn’t strong enough to defeat the Nephalem and he was destroyed, falling from the Silver Spire and burning up, while only the Black Soulstone remained. But Diablo was not *in* the black soulstone, or at least I didn’t think so, since how could he have been? He was outside it, controlling it, and certainly Leah wasn’t there to zap him into it when he died.

    Then in Reaper of Souls Malthael interrupted Tyrael’s brilliant “I learned nothing from the Tal Rasha episode” plan to hide the powerful soulstone in a tomb, and stole the Black Soulstone away. Malty basically became “The Prime Angel” then, channeling the power of the demons in the black soulstone to control all the souls of the dead, and planning to use the Black Soulstone to entrap Angels as well. But it wasn’t strong enough, and the Nephalem smacked him around, but not until after Malty had destroyed the Black Soulstone.

    So… where does Diablo come in? I assumed his soul was banished back to the Hells when he died at the end of Act Four. As I understood it, the Prime Evils were basically immortal, and if their physical bodies were killed their essences just floated back to Hell and slowly reformed new bodies, during which time they were weak. Isn’t that the lesson of that Diablo 3 Wrath anime, where Diablo is happy to die so long as he sews discord between the Angels by doing so?

    And why aren’t the other Prime and Lesser evils who were in the Black Soulstone freed as well? I thought they were only waiting for the Black Soulstone to be shattered so they could get back into action as well, like the 3 Prime Evils during their pre-D2 soulstone vacays.

    Anyone’s got a better explanation, I’d be happy to hear it. Far as I can see, Bliz is just tweaking events as they wish in order to set up whatever they’ve got planned next. Which seems like maybe a Nephalem gone mad sort of story. What else could there be? We saw the Nephalem able to kill Diablo even when he was destroying all the Heavens in Prime Evil form, and then the Nephalem was able to defeat Malthael when he was fully-charged up as the Lord of the Dead. After that, what challenge could any kind of Angel or Demon pose? (Open an Angelic/Demonic Auction House where they can finally get some good gear?)

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